Sister by Sibling
September 14, 2013 London
The fifties-sixties Americana they mined in their West Side Story-influenced Sibling men's show was transferred to the suburbs of New York today. It was a companion piece "from urban to suburban," said Bates, "the white picket fence, the off pastels, and the plastic brights." There also seemed to be a nod to those Meisel photographs of the mid-nineties, with supermodels striding and laughing along in tight, bright Chanel suits. The collection had some great knits in the form of a newly developed take on bouclé, by Bryan; a bouncy neon coral two-piece; and a short, sharp, boxy knitted red suit. And there were incredible zigzag knit pieces—again, with a new stitch developed by Sibling—including a coral-colored coat with a black Swarovski crystal collar, the crystals made integral to the crochet. Simple black edging on many of the items gave them a nice punch.
The intentions for subversion were all there, with the Cramps and the B-52s singing along at this soirée. The problem came with the fact that the Sibling Sister was not quite medicated and drunk enough and seemed far too concerned with her Tupperware this season: She wasn't nearly as subversive as before.
The casting of the show felt off—and those smiles the models were all wearing surely should have had something more unhinged about them. The recent focus on the mid-century and all the relentless Mad Men-itis in pop culture over the last couple of years have made any collection in this territory feel a little fatigued. Here, the standout pieces were great, but the show was not tightly edited enough. It suffered from a surfeit of neither-here-nor-there looks at the beginning, with slogan sweaters that overwhelmed the excellent and innovative knits coming thicker and faster toward the end. Having seen the collection in preview before, some attendees felt that the show seemed like a lost opportunity with its confused styling. Retailers and customers should look beyond those distractions to the collection's bold new knits, whose countless inventive techniques make them simply desirable.